The Challenges and Consequences of being Latina, Catholic, and Political

Lara Medina

in Latino Religions and Civic Activism in the United States

Published in print August 2005 | ISBN: 9780195162271
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199850365 | DOI:
The Challenges and Consequences of being Latina, Catholic, and Political

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This chapter examines María Antonietta Berriozábal, native of San Antonio, Texas; Rosa Martha Zárate, of San Bernardino, California; and Tess Browne, of Boston, Massachusetts—all three see themselves as catalysts of change in their communities. Their involvement with Las Hermanas, a thirty-four-year-old national religious-political feminist organization of Chicana/Latina Catholics, influenced their profound commitment to community, justice, and faith. This chapter provides a brief overview of the sociohistorical context from which Las Hermanas emerged; then presents snapshot profiles of Zárate, Browne, and Berriozábal. These brief descriptions of their extensive work provide windows into the effect that Las Hermanas has had on Latina Catholic political activism. It is argued that the autonomous space created by Las Hermanas and its integration of spirituality and social activism influenced and strengthened these women in their involvement in civic affairs. No other Latina Catholic organization exists that serves this purpose.

Keywords: Las Hermanas; Latina Catholic political activism; social activists; spirituality; Chicana women

Chapter.  6300 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Religious Studies

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